Use of Pesticides in Organic Farming
Organic farmers should be aware of the law relating to substances used to protect their crops from harmful organisms. In addition to checking that they are allowed to use the product with their organic certification bodies, they must also check that substances or products are permitted for use in this country before using them on their crops.
Chemicals, preparations and biological control agents acting as pesticides are regulated under the Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986 (as amended), or the Plant Protection Products Regulations 1995 (as amended). Under these Regulations, substances and formulations cannot be used on a particular crop unless an approval to do so has been granted by the Minister. In granting an approval an assessment is carried out to ensure, amongst other things, the safety to the consumer of the treated produce and risks to the environment. If no approval exists the necessary risk assessments will not have been undertaken.
Even natural substances such as plant oils or ingredients used in the food industry such as pepper need to have an approval before they can be marketed or used as a plant protection product. Any retailers and growers will be the subject of enforcement action should it be discovered that they are marketing or using an unapproved pesticide.
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